Last month we were also able to start and support a Respecting Birth Campaign in the public hospital of La Ceiba: the influence of the enviroment during childbirth, avoid episitomies, stop kristeller (fundul pressure) and YES to protect the perineum! Many key members of staff of the hospital attended the presentation this morning given Silvia and the highly respected ginecologist Dr. Diaz Solano. Silvia spoke over respected birth and Dr. Diaz gave a presentation to stop Kristeller (fundul pressure), how to avoid episiotmoy and perineal reperation. Televsion crews turned up, and we were happy to offer everyone a slice of the beautiful Respecting Birth Cake.
Last month we also have been able to put moskito protection on all the windows in the postpartum ward at the hospital Atlantida!
Now all the women and their newborn babies will be protected from dangerous moskito bytes.
A big thanks goes out to Christianna, which organized a donation to make this happen, and to Alberto, which donated his time to put up the moskito protection.
by Emily Houseman
Last month we have been able to provide a RCP neonatal presentation and workshop to some of the intern doctors at the hospital of La Ceiba.
We were really grateful for this opportunity to get everyone up to date and practicing their skills. The interns got to work on the special “Neonathalie”baby, with her built-in variable heart and breathing rates, creating life-like scenarios to practice on.
The information was very well received, and the staff even found themselves doing compressions and breaths in time to the Bee Gees “uh uh uh uh staying alive, staying alive”, making it an unforgettable workshop!
We look forward to having Christianna back and are grateful to all she put in to get make this presentation a success. Silvia used the change to present some excellent videos to educate the staff about some aspects of childbirth less widely known in Honduras, including benefits of waterbirth and birthing in upright positions.
At the moment we have three regular rural midwife groups that we are working with. One aim, besides many others, is to improve prenatal care and teach our rural midwives to recognize problems. For this reason we gave them “heart beat counters”, ….. .
At the moment, the midwives try to detect the babies’ heartbeats with toilet paper rolls. Although this does work, it would be ideal to provide each of them with a good fetoscope.
We were very happy when a donation from Krista and her community in Canada arrived. She brought 6 fetoscopes with her. Because of this donation, we will provide six midwives with a good fetoscopes. Each midwife will be able to give better prenatal care in their very remote, rural areas. They are able to detect problems earlier and faster, and therefore send women to a health care center or hospital to receive help. Although these are often located far away, it means that they can go and receive the support they need, often saving lives of mothers and babies.
In one of the pictures above you can see how women have to give birth in one of the puplic hospitals in their labor and delivery unit. The birth chairs you can see are called “burras” – donkeys. Women don’t have a protected, private space to give birth, and there are often three women in the room at the same time giving birth who can all see each other.
If you were to give birth here, you might see another women giving birth across the room from you. Or she may be getting stitched after her birth, or may be having a stillbirth. There may be many people around watching you. You’d feel so uncomfortable your contractions would almost stop. In this culture, there is a lot of shame, where nobody except perhaps your mother has seen your vagina. Sometimes the student nurse groups involve up to 20 people in the delivery room. They are watching you push, waiting for your baby to be born. A lot of people are watching, the lights are very bright and your legs are wide open.
For this reason we are so happy that now have a homemade divider for the hospital delivery rooms, which provides some separation and protection for the mothers as they give birth. This was possible due to a donation from doula Krista and her community in Canada. We are very grateful to them, to the two wonderful man, Alberto and Edwin, who donated their time to construct it, and to Dar a Luz funds which enabled the completion of this project.
Thanks to everybody involved! Thanks also to the hospital for accepting this divider, and for wanting to use it each day.
Now, if you were to give birth here, there is the option to wheel the divider in between to provide some protection. You would have some privacy from the lady next to you, and from other people watching you.
by Ashleigh Menzies
Yesterday we held our monthly mountain midwife meeting in Yarucca. Silvia invited two nurses Alma Castillo and Claudia Lozano from the public hospital in La Ceiba, which showed an interest to volunteer with the project. They led a class on measuring fundal height to assess fetal development and improve prenatal care.
Among the midwives, there is such a wealth of knowledge and it is wonderful to have a forum in which they can share this knowledge. It was a great experience to have local nurses from the public hospital working with these rural midwives, who are often undervalued. We look forward to having them join us again and continuing to build a strong relationship between these communities. Thank you Alma and Claudia!
by Ashleigh Menzies
In the La Ceiba Community Health Center, last month we give quick lessons on anatomy, breathing techniques, and breast feeding while women waite for their prenatal checkups each morning. It has been nice to run into some of these same women in labor and delivery and witness them using the techniques we’ve shown and generally being more confident during their labor. This is a true testament that a little information goes a long way. This month our volunteers, Krista and Ashleigh, have been doing these daily charlas in the mornings and have reached many women.
Today Krista, one of our volunteers, went to the hospital to see the mosquito screen that was put in one of the big windows in the maternity unit. We were able to find a contractor and arrange for the installation of the new screen.
At this public hospital in la Ceiba, women stay with their baby in this unit for 24 hours or more after they have given birth. There is a big grassy area outside of this unit which does not drain well after a heavy rain and many mosquitoes grow in the puddles.
Thanks to $50 from the donations raised before Krista came to Honduras we have been able to build and install this screen to protect moms and newborns from mosquito bites and desases.
Thanks to you Krista and your community for beeing so iniative and genereous!
We want them! Dar a Luz is collecting gently used shoes to build our shoe bank to help local children in need. Many children in disadvantaged areas are often without shoes which is very difficult, especially during the rainy season. We can arrange for you send the shoes to a volunteer in your area to help save on shipping costs. If you are interested in donating shoes, please contact us.
by Ashleigh Menzies
This month Silvia began teaching a lecture regarding the protection of the perineum in addition to the respectful and gentle birth lecture she has been presenting to the interns. These classes serve to demonstrate different techniques to hospital staff regarding both medical practices and patient interactions, and to remind the standards set in the Honduran guidelines for labour and delivery (Las normas nacionales para attention materno-neonatal).